Garret Anderson

Ladies and gentlemen, the Common North American Has-Been. Anderson, who was never as good as his press clippings to begin with, has shown little evidence that he can still play major league baseball since 2004. In the large collection of evidence that baseball players are not all that bright, see the Google News result for “Garret Anderson”:

Angels’ players surprised Garret Anderson can’t find a job – BostonHerald.com

Anderson has been (ha!) a career Angel, drafted in 1990 and a regular since 1995. He’s the franchise leader in hits and virtually every other hitting counting stat but homers, where he finished second to Tim Salmon. The main exception is walks, where he is ninth, because Anderson is basically Mr. Angel, the living embodiment of the franchise’s swing-at-everything philosophy. This would be the same philosophy that all but ruined Casey Kotchman.

Anderson has, over the past four seasons, posted three OPS+ between 94 and 97 while playing left field and DH. His game is essentially all batting average at this point, because he rarely walks (he never did, much) and he only reaches the mid-teens in homers (between 14 and 17 every one of the past five years).

As I said above, he was never all that good to begin with. The only years in which Anderson really played at a championship level were 1999-2000, when he was in centerfield, and 2002-03, when he had an all-around offensive spike that made him productive in left. The rest of the time, he was basically slightly better than he was the last four seasons, a corner outfielder with a good glove, a good batting average, and some power, but an on-base liability. Last season, Anderson hit .293 .325 .433. This is better than anything the Braves got from their corner outfielders, but it’s hardly good, and it’s not worth an investment of anything more than a minor league contract. In a platoon role, he might improve slightly because he had no power at all against lefties, but he still only slugged .450 against righthanders.

Career high in walks: 38.

Garret Anderson Statistics – Baseball-Reference.com

173 thoughts on “Garret Anderson”

  1. The only way Anderson would be a good pickup is if he were replacing Frenchy…now that would be a major upgrade, even given Anderson’s puny stats. Sadly, however…

  2. You clearly can’t see Jeff’s ceiling my friend. And both of them had stretches where the sucked at lower rate than they sucked the rest of the season, so they are obviously going to perform at the level I cherry pick out of their stats for the entire year.

  3. From the last thead:

    If Smoltz didn’t leave because of more money, then why did he leave? I can certainly speculate, but did he care to elaborate?

    I wish he would shut it too. All of this whining is a slapstick ending to an elegant career.

    It is kind of like, at the end of Chariots of Fire, the athletes running off to the theme music from Benny Hill, rather than the score from Vangelis.

  4. On Smoltz: isn’t his new team going to want him to do press stuff? and isn’t the “why’d you leave the Braves” question going to be the one everybody will ask? and do you want him to go big Mac and “I don’t want to talk about the past”?

    He’s said it before, he felt the Braves FO didn’t treat him well. That may be by the numbers of the offer, or how they presented it, but he’s said it’s not about the money and I don’t think it was specifically about the amount of the money nearly as much as how the Braves FO handled the situation. Because he’s a public figure who isn’t a roid story he’s going to get asked for interviews (especially since he’s not doing the usual spring training thing) and any sports reporter who didn’t ask him would likely lose his job.

  5. I agree with Neyer – Anderson’s problem was that his production didn’t equal his salary. Platooning him with Diaz isn’t a bad option.

    But I am behind on keeping up with the team. Who is expected to play CF this season?

  6. On the TV schedule, what is ‘PTV’?

    My new cable service includes the MLB network (yay!). Will I get games during the season on MLB? I am in Virginia and don’t get Fox South or Sports South. I get stuck with Nats games.

  7. according to Braves.com…

    LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Garret Anderson has officially joined the Braves. There won’t be any future announcements to contradict this fact.

    After Anderson underwent a successful physical on Tuesday morning, the Braves officially announced him as their latest roster addition. The 36-year-old outfielder is expected to serve as the club’s regular left fielder.

    sounds official.

  8. I Didn’t really mean to open the Smoltz can of BS again, but I just think he’s taking cheap shots at the team at this point.

    I posted this at the end of the last thread:

    After hearing Smoltz talk about this on several occasions, I’m completely convinced that the primary reason he left was ego. By his admission he felt neglected and taken for granted by the Braves. The Red Sox came along and offered a contract that gave him more respect (in the form of dollars), and he took it. I think that a big part of this decision was to say to the Braves, “you can’t take me for granted and I’m outta here.” He’s said as much.

    And for Smoltz money and respect are equated here. He absolutely took more money, that’s undeniable. In his mind, though, I’m sure it’s not about the money, but what the money represented.

  9. And for the trifecta… Per Ethan’s link we may not get to see a couple games:

    Wednesday, September 23 @ Mets 7:10 PM WGST 640

    Monday, July 6 @ Cubs 8:05 PM
    both don’t have a TV listing… WTH?!?!

  10. #7
    I get all that, but it just stings a little to hear a guy I rooted for the last 20 years dog the organization, no matter the circumstances.

    BTW, he doesn’t have to give the media anything. He can offer an uninsulting stock answer (unlike McGwire) & everyone will go away. But he obviously wants to make a point, and that’s fine. Divorces aren’t often pretty.

    I’d just prefer that, when it comes to dealing with the media on this subject, he’d be more like Derek Jeter than Curt Schilling.

  11. Also, the growing idea that Tanderson will start against lefties is making me worried. Which side of Bobby Cox will win: the desire to have a lineup balanced with handedness or the desire to start a venerable old vet as much as possible? I’m afraid I know the answer.

  12. We’re imbalanced and underpowered regardless. There’s no “okay, this lineup gets us into the playoffs” solution with this group. Just gotta hope the pitching stays healthy, we catch what’s hit to us, and we hit enough doubles to make up for the lack of HRs.

  13. Sorry, but where do the “Sh” in “Shanderson” and the “T” in “Tanderson” come from and to which do they refer?

    Ganderson and Janderson, maybe. Let’s don’t come up with even more deep Braves Journal trivia when we don’t have to. My brain is tired.

  14. The “sh” and the “t” come from the very last sounds of each player’s first name. Say it out loud and it will make more sense. I prefer these to Ganderson and Janderson for the same reason mentioned before, Ganderson is too close to Granderson.

  15. Mac,

    That’s a bit unfair to link to an article about the Angel players bemoaning that Anderson can’t get a job and using that to say that ballplayers are dumb. It’s pretty obvious that (1) few players are going to knock a guy they have played with for years; and (2) players are not going to consider these advanced metrics that you use to evaluate players. As for his production not being worth more than a minor league contract, both JC and Rob Neyer disagree.

  16. Alright, I got back to a couple comments on the last thread there, but I wanted to respond to some of the more thought-provoking discussion in this thread.

    First, Mr. Remington (@235 in the last thread) thanks for the very thoughtful response. I’ve been meaning to take a longer look at JC’s work on protection (link anyone?), but where I expect it to depart from my comments is in the difference between generalitites and specific cases. In other words, if you look at every batter’s statistics based on the lineup around them I can see how you could find that protection has little significant impact. However, if you’re only looking at one specific case, say the guy who gets to bat behind Barry Bonds in 2001 like you suggested, then anomalies persist. In specific situations it is going to depend on the style of the hitter. If you have a monster behind you the pitcher is much less likely to be okay with walking you. A batter who can work the count might be able to take advantage of this, work a 3 ball count and get something fat to hit, whereas a free-swinger might throw his bat out there before it gets to that point. These are all hypotheticals, but the overarching point is that statistics are only raw data, interpretation is necessary in all cases to reach a confident conclusion. Moreover, the guys I was talking about both played in close to 400 Major League games over a three year span. The contextual variability isn’t going to be radical. It may negate a difference from 397 (GA) to 368 (Griffey), but not by leaps and bounds. (It turns out, when computed per out that it doesn’t even negate the difference, as I showed @192. There may be another metric that is able to reconcile the two, but I would be shocked if you can find me one that shows Griffey is “clearly” ahead of GA.)

    That brings me to your last point. In no way do I mean to say that all stats are equally meaningless. I put more weight into Avg/OBP/Slug% than I do RPs, just like I put more weight on ERA than Wins. What I was objecting to was Stu dismissing those statistics off-hand and saying something like ‘RPs, or RBIs are utterly worthless,’ while providing nothing to back that up. In some, maybe even many, cases there are contributing factors that make RPs a less honest illustration of past success, but if I’m having a conversation with someone else and Stu interjects solely to knock my comment, then it makes sense to me that the onus is on him to point out WHY the statistic isn’t as significant as I suggested.

  17. I just posted this over at CnC…

    In case you wondered, using baseball-reference’s Neutralize stats function, I’ve we can see what Garret Anderson’s 2008 numbers would have looked like as a Brave.

    His actual line last year was .293/.325/.433 in 593 PA, with 15 HR, 84 RBI, 29 BB, and 77 K. In Turner Field, that would have turned into .286/.319/.426, 15 HR and 83 RBI.

    Of course, during the season, our outfield put up a combined line of .260/.324/.367 in 2112 PA, with 27 HR, 212 RBI, 168 BB and 372 K. His OBP is actually slightly below our outfield’s overall performance, but his slugging is well above it.

    He makes us better… just not much better.

  18. Now, Mr. Schneider provided another thoughtful response @244 on the last thread:

    Again, I certainly understand the limits of RPs, RBIs and similar statistics. These limitations make me much less confident in the implications of the numbers, however, over the course of 3 Major League seasons, and close to 400 games, the outliers should tend to cancel each other out to some degree, though that isn’t always the case. Again, interpretation is key to understanding the value of these stats. The difference between Stu’s approach and mine, is that I’m willing to consider all the data, while Stu ignores one of the most important factors in the game of baseball: Run Production.

    Just using your hypothetical one game example brings up another point, which you sort of alluded to. Assume there is another hitter who comes up 3 times with the bases loaded and hits 3 pop flies to the IF. I think we can agree on who the more productive hitter is in that case. Of course we’d all still take the 2 HRs over the 3 groundout-RBIs, but the 3 groundout-RBIs are clearly superior to the 3 popouts. In other words, the 3 RBIs have meaning (contrary to Stu’s persistent assertions.) Also, I would assert that there are some hitters who go up in certain situations primarily looking to do something besides get a hit; either move up the runner(s) or knock them in… sadly these are probably in the minority these days.

    As for a statistic that relates RBIs or RPs to opportunities (or failures) I threw out a few different options @192 and 209 in the last thread. I’ll also be posting another metric shortly, because I’m dreadfully bored at work today, and still waiting for an insanely slow reply to a business matter.

    The problem with cheap numbers is another thing that statistics rarely escape. Someone can have 6 RBIs in a 15-1 game, but someone can just as easily go 5-for-5 with a couple walks and pad their percentages in a 15-1 game.

    Thanks again for the comments, I hope I addressed them. I sometimes struggle with expressing complex ideas in short blog comments, so please bear with me.

  19. I’ve been meaning to take a longer look at JC’s work on protection (link anyone?), but where I expect it to depart from my comments is in the difference between generalitites and specific cases.

    Google Translator:
    I haven’t read this study (nor have I looked very hard for it), but here is how I might cherry pick a few examples that prove my point.

    Paper (gated)
    Summary

    If protection existed, it would show up in the data. It doesn’t, case closed. And by the way, my coauthor and I conducted this analysis to settle a disagreement: I was convinced that protection existed and he was skeptical. I turned out to be incorrect, so I changed my mind.

  20. Rationalize all you want, Smoltz’s ongoing whine will sound like sour grapes to most fans.

    He has conducted himself with great class throughout his career even though he was outspoken. Is it too much to ask.

    Stay classy, Smoltzie.

    Please!

  21. “I turned out to be incorrect, so I changed my mind.”

    But what about your gut JC? What about your gut?

    “Just gotta hope the pitching stays healthy, we catch what’s hit to us, and we hit enough doubles to make up for the lack of HRs.”

    Actually, we have to hope that the pitching stays healthy AND performs near the top of its projections, hope Francoeur and Kotchman well outperform last year’s horrorshow, that Chipper and BMac stay healthy, and that some major injuries befall the Mets, Phillies, and potentially the Marlins. From what I can tell, that’s Wren’s plan to make the playoffs.

  22. “.260/.324/.367 in 2112 PA, with 27 HR, 212 RBI, 168 BB and 372 K”

    You know, I’ve spent the better part of the offseason, as well as most of last season, exchanging emails with friends over just how awful the outfield hitting was, but when I see the numbers compiled like that my head has an urge to start spinning. That’s just… words… fail…

  23. JC, sorry if I usually have more important things to do than read your study. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of literary works that I would like to read, but have yet to get around to. I wish I had tons of free time to devote to these sorts of pursuits, but I simply don’t. I would’ve much rather spent time reading your study than the recent stimulus bill, but sadly the latter has deeper implications in my life. Now that I have your study bookmarked I look forward to reading it, as I do appreciate your scholarly work (much more so than your sometimes abrasive social interactions.)

    As for cherry picking, you’ve completely disfigured my point here. What I am saying is that I can see how protection generally doesn’t exist, however, in some situations, (statisticians might call these outliers,) some players may benefit from their place in a particular order. I made no opinion as to whether or not this factors into any particular player, but to deny that it likely factors into some small subset is pretty close-minded.

    I can use statistics to show that the average height of a U.S. adult male is between 5’6″ and 6″, but this doesn’t allow me to jump to the conclusion that there aren’t any U.S. adult males who stand 5’3″ or 7′. Proving that something doesn’t exist is pretty damn hard to do.

    Thanks again for the link, I’ll get back to you on the study once I’ve had a chance to look it over.

  24. @24,

    Gadfly,

    As I suggested, it is possible that a ground out can be more important than a home run in certain situations. The Yankees won Game 7 of the 1962 World Series 1-0 on a DP groundout with the bases loaded. The D-Backs won the 2001 Series on a weak pop by Luis Gonzalez that fell in over the infield. Essentially, both these hitters were lucky (you could argue that, at least Gonzalez didn’t strike out but if the infield had been back, the run would not have scored.)And, yes, hitters do and should approach at bats differently depending on the situation. The point is, though, that the result doesn’t necessarily reflect the quality of the at-bat. As they say, in the newspaper a bloop hit will look like a line drive but it doesn’t mean it was a line drive. Clearly, the more often you come up with runners on base, the more RBIs you will get even if you are not a good hitter. Sure, there are times when a ground ball is as good as a home run and there are times when a line drive will be caught. But that doesn’t mean that the guy hitting the weak ground ball driving in a run is performing better than the guy hitting the line drive that is caught. Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good but that doesn’t mean you should base the team on being lucky. I won’t go as far as some as to imply that RBIs (my stand-in for RC) have no value, but my point is you can’t evaluate a player’s value just on the basis of RBIs and that seems to be the basis of your valuing of Francoeur. Moreover, using RBIs as a proxy for batting worth ignores the fact that sometimes the critical situation is not with runners on base, it’s leading off the inning. For example, in Game 6 of the 1999 NLCS, Gerald Williams led off the 11th with a double and eventually scored the winning run. Even though he didn’t drive in the run, his was clearly the key at bat in the inning. At the same time, if the hitters behind him had not advanced him, his double would have been meaningless. I think that is why people put less value on stats like RBIs and Runs Created because, while they have some value,you can’t really separate out the team effects from those of the hitter. And, the most important thing, I think, is that, to some extent, hitting is arbitrary from at bat to at bat. If a guy hits a grand slam home run, chances are the pitcher has made a bad pitch; by the same token, when a guy strikes out, the pitcher probably made several good pitches. So, things like RBIs reflect times when the hitter happened to get a hit with a runner in scoring positon (or got an extra-base hit). But, given the randomness of how hits occur, this doesn’t necessarily tell you anything about how good the hitter is. (Some sort of rate RBI stat would, I think, be more useful.) That is why, I think rate statistics that correlate certain metrics with the scoring performance of the team certainly have limitations but they help to isolate the performance of the hitter in a much better way than stats that are dependent on what happens around the hitter. And I am certainly no stat geek; my eyes often glaze over when I read about the different stats. But my observation also tells me that RBIs are misleading because you often see guys get 5 or 6 RBIs in a game and then not get one the rest of the week.

  25. I don’t understand why everyone doesn’t ignore him. He so obviously is here only to annoy us and doesn’t even believe half the things he types. He only harps on Francoeur because he knows that is one of the few things on this blog where there is a general consensus he can rile people up over. His choice of name alone exposes him.

    To anyone who thinks Gadfly is anything other than a troll that should be ignored:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gadfly_(social)

  26. JC, sorry if I usually have more important things to do than read your study.

    But you do have time to comment on it?

    As for cherry picking, you’ve completely disfigured my point here. What I am saying is that I can see how protection generally doesn’t exist, however, in some situations, (statisticians might call these outliers,) some players may benefit from their place in a particular order. I made no opinion as to whether or not this factors into any particular player, but to deny that it likely factors into some small subset is pretty close-minded.

    Outliers are extreme observations, and the way you account for them isn’t to identify them and say it’s the way the world works. Instead, you say, these are odd and we should not consider them.

    I can use statistics to show that the average height of a U.S. adult male is between 5′6″ and 6″, but this doesn’t allow me to jump to the conclusion that there aren’t any U.S. adult males who stand 5′3″ or 7′. Proving that something doesn’t exist is pretty damn hard to do.

    No, but you have demonstrated yourself to be a poor logician. No more tilting at windmills for me. You might include Don Quixote one of those literary works that you would like to read.

    Yes, Dix, I know. I’m done.

  27. Dix,

    I don’t understand why you don’t say the same about Chief Nocahoma, who mocks everything people say and insults us? (“Stat geeks”). Gadfly doesn’t do that.

  28. Here’s another GA v. KGJr. metric as promised (and I know you were all waiting at the edge of your seats):

    This is RBIs/MOB (That is RBIs/the total number of men on base in every registered at-bat for the hitter during the 2008 season.):

    Griffey: 71 RBIs/278 MOB= .255
    G. Anderson: 84 RBIs/330 MOB= .255

    To be fair it was .2553 and .2545 respectively. This also doesn’t factor in the number of outs at the time of the at-bat or runner ability, nor does it differentiate between a runner on 1st and a runner on 2nd or 3rd (or any combination thereof.) Here are their respective percentages of runners on 1st/2nd/3rd:

    KG: 53.6/32.7/13.7
    GA: 52.1/30.3/17.5

    Not terribly different, but a slight edge for Garret. I’m still not anywhere near concluding that Garret isn’t at least very close to being on the same level of Griffey, especially when adding in the defensive and price-tag factors.

    Another quick trial run comparing Jeff Francoeur and Nick Swisher:

    Francoeur ’07: 105 RBIs/421 MOB= .249
    Francoeur ’06: 103 RBIs/413 MOB= .249
    Swisher ’07: 78 RBIs/342 MOB= .228
    Swisher ’06: 95 RBIs/343 MOB= .277

    with the 1st/2nd/3rd percentages:

    Francoeur ’07: 48.7/35.4/15.9
    Francoeur ’06: 51.3/33.7/15.0
    Swisher ’07: 55.8/30.1/14.0
    Swisher ’06: 56.5/30.6/12.8

    Again this makes Francoeur’s numbers much less gaudy, as we all suspected it would, but it does speak to a relatively decent level of production (though clearly not as high as the RBIs might suggest to a casual observer.)

    This metric also ignores RS altogether, but perhaps you could pair it with a RS/time on base calculation (though I’m more worried about random anomalies with this one):

    GA: .342
    KG: .330
    JF ’07: .357
    JF ’06: .413
    NS ’07: .335
    NS ’06: .424

    Last, just for fun… how about that awful 2008 season, where do Jeff’s numbers rank?

    RBI/MOB: .159
    1st/2nd/3rd: 49.7/32.4/17.9
    RS/TOB: .365

    Yes, 2008 sucked by any measure.

  29. I haven’t read a Chief Nocahoma post in a long time so if that’s what he does, I’m not familiar. He doesn’t insult me though, or anyone I care to defend, so I’m ok with it. Insults and mocking can be hilarious and at least that may be genuine.

    Nothing about Gadfly is genuine except for his overtly obvious intention to be contrarian and annoying. And don’t tell me that no one would spend as much time coming up with stats and comments if he wasn’t serious about it. I spend as much or more time on here as anyone and if you read my body of work here you’ll see that all I’ve done is try to be contrarian and annoying. The difference is Gadfly isn’t doing it to be funny, he’s doing it to be obnoxious. He may be making himself laugh but only because to him we are the joke.

    Like a 4 year old, if we just ignore him he’ll go away.

  30. @32: Haha, good point Bethany. However, I’ve always been a much quicker writer than a reader, and it only takes me about 5-10 minutes to pound out one/a few of these posts (and I can do it with little focus or continuity.) Whereas reading an academic study, or philosophical work, usually requires a little more attention, and a lot more determined focus. Maybe if I spent more time writing I wouldn’t stick my foot in my mouth as often, but then it just wouldn’t be half as fun.

    @36: Thanks Marc, I’m glad you can see I’m not here to mock or attack anyone. I’m here to inspire debate, and I hope I can do that without irritating anyone. (I haven’t yet read your longer comment, more on that later.)

    @35: JC, I really didn’t comment on your study, except for a brief mention, which primarily accepted the premise. Marc was the one that brought it up, so I addressed it, but I’ll be glad to comment on it in depth later. As for you comment “[outliers] are odd and we should not consider them” this works fine for statistical analysis, but you can’t just ignore them altogether if they exist in the game of baseball. As I said before, I can anticipate how your analysis shows that “protection” does not exist in 95% or 99% of cases, but I’m quite certain that it does exist in some very small percentage of cases. When speaking of any one specific case, as Marc and I were, I think it is fair to at least take a look at the possibility that it may not fit the statistical norm. Also, Don Quixote is on my list, but I rarely allow myself the pleasure of fiction, so I doubt I’ll get to it all that soon.

    @34: Glad to see you picked up on the name, and I won’t shy away from the connection to Socrates. I’ll admit I have brought up ideas before that I’m not 100% sold on, but only in addressing error can you get a better idea of truth. My recent work breaking down Francoeur’s RBI/RS stats certainly has given me a clearer picture of their worth, much more so than the crowd of parrots that have tried to shout me down. There’s quite a bit of difference between a troll and a gadfly: I’m not attempting to rile people up, only to encourage people to better express the opinions that the majority holds. Without this sort of reflection status quo opinion tends to evolve into dogma, which is the enemy of truth.

    If you chose to ignore me that is your prerogative, but I sincerely hope you can see my intent here is not malicious.

  31. @39: I’d love to Stu, but sadly I don’t have the raw data available to make that calculation. I’d imagine the numbers would turn to favor Griffey, and if we’re talking strictly in the case of a platoon situation I’d agree that Griffey is probably the better option (though $4.5 million is a hell of a lot to pay for half a LF platoon.) However, as I said before, we can’t necessarily count on Diaz to bounce back to ’07 form and stay healthy all year, so I think it makes more sense to go with someone who could actually start against both RHP and LHP, especially at a discounted price. (I should run out the Diaz numbers too just for fun, but I finally do have some real work to do, so that will have to wait.) Then again the whole conversation is academic because Griffey chose not to come here, but if you were excited for Griffey I can’t see how someone could knock the Garret signing… I mean I would still take Griffey over GA, just because I have always loved the guy, but factoring in all considerations I don’t see a whole lot of difference outside of the RH splits. More importantly, from a production standpoint, I’d take GA over Brandon Jones, as much as I would love to see that kid succeed.

  32. G-money,
    (a) As I’ve said all along, my point is that Griffey is a far superior option to Anderson against righties.
    (b) Diaz will be fine and should not lose ABs against lefties to Anderson (or Griffey, if he were here).
    (c) I, personally, have never knocked the Anderson signing. I’ve only responded to the false claim that Anderson was as good or better than Griffey as an option for the Braves.
    (d) My appreciation for your quest to bring truth to Braves Journal is roughly as great as Jeff Francoeur’s ceiling is high.

  33. That is a pretty pathetic quest. Completely unlike my quest to bring laughter and tits to Braves Journal.

  34. @31

    Like your stuff Marc, but can you (everyone) space it in blocks in the future. Its hard to read in one giant paragraph.

    With regard to Griffey/Tanderson, Griffey would be better in a platoon split and thus, with Diaz would work better. However, Tanderson is a better fielder and so the difference doesn’t seem to be that great.

    In any case, I’ll agree with AAR’s view. He gives you a security blanket. At 1 year of 2.5 MM, it’s not horrible.

    Another point that I haven’t seen that I think is important, is that the defence should be really good this year. Especially if Heap’s and Frenchy’s weight loss programs help out and KJ keeps improving. That shouldn’t be underestimated.

    Pitching and Defence.

    Thought I heard that somewhere once…

  35. @40 – I still haven’t figured out a reliable way to discern intent from a few Braves Journal posts. Amazing that you have.

  36. Dunno if any of you saw “The Sunshine Boys,” an old Neil Simon play that later became a film with Walter Matthau & George Burns.

    It’s about an old vaudeville comedy duo that’s sort of forced to reunite for one show—only they never could stand each other and, all these years later, they still can’t.

    So while they rehearse for this gig, both old men intentionally do every little thing they can to get on each other’s nerves, just like they did in the old days. They’re older, but definitely not wiser.

    The hilarity is rooted in the facts that they can’t stop picking on each other and they can’t stop being annoyed by each other either. The madder they get, the funnier it is.

  37. Here’s Sheehan at BP:

    [not signing Dunn or Abreu] by making a bad signing. Picking up Griffey would have been marginal — Griffey’s projected WARP is a mere 1.1, exactly that of [Brandon] Jones — justified by the lower cost and the possibility that he would have value in a strict platoon. With the Hall of Famer gone, talk has turned to Garret Anderson, who is something of a last man standing in this market. Anderson is durable and little else, with his power mostly gone and his OBP a perpetual problem. He projects to a .274/.319/.440 line, with slightly below-average defense and a value of about one win over replacement. He is no better than Jones at this point, and should not be signed to replace the younger player. The differences between Griffey and Anderson are OBP and the platoon split, neither of which favor Anderson.

    I don’t mean to peg the Braves as penurious overall, just to point out that they stopped spending money at exactly the point where they might have gotten the most bang for their buck. Buying a left fielder like Dunn would have helped make the significant investments in the rotation — more than a third of the payroll is tied up in the three new starters — pay off

    He doesn’t really say anything we don’t know, but from what I’VE seen, is overrating B.Jones.

  38. @32,
    “JC, sorry if I usually have more important things to do than read your study. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of literary works that I would like to read, but have yet to get around to.”

    yet you can post books on here several times per day……mind boggling!

  39. Sorry, I dozed off a few days ago reading one of Gadfly’s dissertations. hankonly woke me out of my slumber with his post.

    hankonly, at the Ramblin’ Raft Race, you never even had to ask the question to be able to see the merchandise.

    Here’s a link to “Whatever happened to…”

    http://www.ajc.com/metro/content/metro/stories/2008/07/25/chattahoochee_river_race.html

    http://projects.ajc.com/gallery/view/metro/chattahoochee-race-0725/

    The last time I went rafting on the Chattahoochee was in 1995. The raft race ended long before that, but they now have a family-friendly type race that starts at Garrard’s Landing (Holcomb Bridge Road, east of 400) and goes for 8 miles.

  40. @31: Good comments Marc, and I agree pretty much entirely. Sometimes I don’t have the time/energy to express myself as clearly as I should, and sometimes when I do express myself in more depth the comment gets too long for the blog format, so perhaps I’ve misled you. I wouldn’t use Francoeur’s RBI numbers by themselves to judge him, however, I think looking at his RBI (or my preference, RP, which compensates for the Gerald Williams example you used) numbers make me question if his poor Avg/OBP/Slug% lines are really as bad as they would be for the average player. That doesn’t mean that they’re good, but it suggests that they aren’t representing his productive value as well as they do for most players.

    In other words, over 3+ years of watching/following Francoeur I’ve noticed some interesting trends that correlate with situational hitting. He seems to do really well in situations that don’t require power, and poorly in situations that do. Briefly, his career line with RISP is .290/.350/.470, with the bases empty its .267/.303/.421, and with a man on 1st its .239/.276/.418. This makes me wonder what his production might be if he took a similar approach to RISP ABs to every at-bat. In short, I think Jeff has bought into the image that Delta and many on the media side of Braves operations have been selling, and I don’t think that accurately fits the type of player that Jeff should be.

  41. @58 – What the hell is that?!?

    If you post suggesting that I’m responsible for the content of that absurd site, and I don’t deny the truthfulness of your post, does that make it true?

    @ 42 I quote “I spend as much or more time on here as anyone and if you read my body of work here you’ll see that all I’ve done is try to be contrarian and annoying.” I guess we’ll have to start calling you Gadfly as well.

  42. Ububba, The Sunshine Boys is a wonderful film. I saw it in the theatre years ago and I think I was the only one laughing!

  43. @56: I’ve already addressed this, but once more: it takes me about 5-10 minutes tops to write these “books” (not including the statistical analyses,) which is, unfortunately, less time than it takes to read a great work of literature/philosophy or an academic statistical analysis.

    @48: I hope Diaz will be fine, but I’m very cautious in counting on that for the whole season. I certainly wouldn’t say that GA is definitely a better option than Griffey, but I also wouldn’t say they aren’t comparable especially when you factor in the price (which is what the overall tenor of the room seems to suggest.)

    Over lunch I worked out the Diaz calculations for 2007:

    RBI/MOB: .215 (yuck!)
    1st/2nd/3rd: 51.2/35.4/13.4
    RS/TOB: .312

    This makes me much less appreciative of Diaz. But I guess it shouldn’t be surprising when his RISP split was .286/.316/.379 and his bases empty split .350/.371/.552. Maybe Diaz should bat leadoff!?!

  44. Jones really didn’t get much of a chance to show his stuff last year. In 116 ABs, he put up a line of .267/.312/.397. Admittedly, that’s awful, but that’s actually better than our overall outfield production last year.

    The OBP is about the same as what you’d expect from Anderson, and based on his minor league performance and the fact , it doesn’t seem to far off to expect that Jones might have another 40 points of slugging in him, which would bring him exactly to Anderson’s expected line.

    He’s a prospect, rather than a proven commodity. Basically, we’re paying Anderson $2 million extra to be a sure thing.

  45. @59

    Seems you missed my attempt at humor. That was supposed to be funny. Surely by now you’ll have been able to discern that my intent in the vast majority of my posts on this site is to be funny.

  46. Jones really didn’t get much of a chance to show his stuff last year. In 116 ABs, he put up a line of .267/.312/.397. Admittedly, that’s awful, but that’s actually better than our overall outfield production last year.

    The OBP is about the same as what you’d expect from Anderson, and based on his minor league performance, and the fact that he really didn’t get regular playing time, it doesn’t seem to far off to expect that Jones might have another 40 points of slugging in him if he were handed a starting job or a regular platoon, which would bring him exactly to Anderson’s expected line. (Moreover, his career minor league lefty-righty split is almost nonexistent: .304/.356/.456 vs. LHP, .271/.360/.459 vs. RHP.)

    He’s a prospect, rather than a proven commodity. Basically, we’re paying Anderson $2 million extra to be a sure thing.

  47. @58: So civil disagreement is annoying? I haven’t seen a mission statement on here, but please someone let me know if this is supposed to be a circle jerk of agreement. I’ll gladly go elsewhere.

    I always figured this, like most blogs, was a place for discussion, where differences could be expressed, and opinions reconciled, or at least respected. Again, maybe I’m just an optimist.

    Now, sadly, I must return to real work…

  48. YES! THIS IS A CIRCLE JERK OF AGREEMENT! PLEASE GO ELSEWHERE OR WE’LL MAKE YOU EAT THE WET BISCUIT.

    More seriously though Gadfly, you’re not just here to express your disagreement. You admitted to espousing positions on here that you don’t even support or agree with. In doing so you eliminated any credibility any of your posted opinions might have had. Opinions here are respected and rightfully so, but not yours because no one in their right mind could possibly believe them to be your actual opinions when you’ve admitted that they are not so.

    and Jeff K. just because you don’t find it funny doesn’t mean you can’t identify the attempt at humor. The more you post the more I believe you to actually be the purveyor of that website. Especially when your posts are crusading on the defense of Gadfly.

  49. I call “Circle Jerk of Agreement” as my team name in the Braves Journal fantasy league, if Mac does one this year.

  50. I don’t even read many of Gadfly’s posts and have no desire to defend him/her or anyone else posting here. It’s no defense of anyone pointing out when you’re living up to your namesake.

  51. One last thing:

    @27, so there is no way to access the report without subscribing to this journal or dolling out $20 bucks? I guess I won’t be able to comment on it in depth, but judging from the summary my previous comments still hold.

    I expect that you’re right in asserting the absence, or near absence, of “protection” in most cases, but I maintain that there are a small percentage of cases where a batter’s place in the order plays a significant role. (This includes protection as well as table setting factors.) Of course this doesn’t invalidate anything you’ve said, but simply expresses the gray areas around the edges.

  52. I don’t read them anymore either, but the creation of his own calculus (RBI/MOB, RS/TOB) is really cool. It’s like watching an alchemist who really believes he’s going to get gold out of lead.

  53. So you’re not defending him but rather disapproving of perceived attacks on him yet the only accusation I levied at him he legitimized. There’s nothing for you to disapprove of there.

    I have no problem with the attempt to spark debate, discussion or to incite disagreement. All I wanted to do was expose the thinly veiled disguise. And to be fair to Gadfly, I don’t think he was trying to pretend to be genuine, he laid it out there for everyone to see what he was doing and he didn’t deny it when I called him on it. My problem with it was that people weren’t figuring it out and they were seriously debating with someone who wasn’t serious in his own right.

    I didn’t think people were figuring it out on their own and that in and of itself was bothering me. People on here were actually believing that he was genuine in his arguments and they were getting fed up with his stubbornness. I tried to put a stop to that. If Gadfly wants to continue to do what he does that’s fine, but I doubt it will have the same effect if people see it for what even he admits it is.

  54. I maintain that there are a small percentage of cases where a batter’s place in the order plays a significant role. (This includes protection as well as table setting factors.) Of course this doesn’t invalidate anything you’ve said, but simply expresses the gray areas around the edges. I have no evidence to support what I just pulled out of my ass, but it supports what I already believe so I am going with it

    Translated

  55. Damn, I should’ve gotten away while I could… but real quick:

    @68: I never said that I didn’t support or agree with the opinions I’ve expressed, only that I’m not 100% certain of them (I used the term “sold on.”) There are very few things, if any, that I’m 100% sold on, but I stand by everything I’ve expressed. That being said, I reserve the right to change my mind if confronted with a substantial reason to do so. @73: And I certainly have conducted myself seriously.

    @69: Glad I could be of service… may it serve you well.

    @74: I’ve played and watched the game enough to gather this opinion. It is hard to use statistics to prove that outliers exist, but in just about every case they do. I’d say more, but I really need to get going…

    So now, I’m actually going to get something worthwhile done today… less than one day ’til the Braves first game!!!

  56. It is hard to use statistics to prove that outliers exist, but in just about every case they do I have no evidence to support what I just pulled out of my ass, but it supports what I already believe so I am going with it.

    No need to repeat yourself – I got it the first time.

  57. Gadfly,

    Nothing you say is helping to attach credibility to you posts or opinions.

    Substantial reason to change your mind? Your opinion regarding Francoeur is based on 257 first year at bats. If you haven’t seen enough evidence yet to change your opinion about him then you’re just obtuse. You’re either not open to changing your mind, or you’re not even genuine about your opinions to begin with.

    Whatever the reason, and there are many, debate with you is a meaningless endeavor and not worth anyone’s energy.

    At this point I’m done, you’re just defending yourself the same way you defend Francoeur. You’re just seeking attention and if I can control myself from here on out you won’t be getting it from me.

    I still suggest you start your own blog though, if you did that people might engage in the debate you want in a forum dedicated to exactly that.

  58. Okay, I was gone most of the day and I just read over a few posts. I have to ask this.

    We all agree that RBIs are a horrible way to rate players, right? Right?

    *chirp* *chirp*

  59. I honestly don’t think the signing is that bad of an idea. We, for sure, know Garret will produce better numbers than Brandon Jones and Blanco. He may not be good, but at least he is average, which is more than what we have already.

    It is an improvement at the end of the day without trading away any prospects. $2.5M for an average outfielder is a much wiser investment than Ross and Glavine signings.

  60. So, Gadfly, at 15 minutes per post and around 12 posts in just this thread alone, you’re at 3 hours on the day, and that’s not including the time you spend reading the posts. Seems like plenty of time you could be using to read a book, or whatever it is you do when you’re not picking fights on a baseball blog for a mid market team.

  61. My brother and I were talking Bravos at dinner and a question came up.

    True or False:

    If he makes the club, Jordan Schafer has a better year than Jeff Francoeur.

  62. Wow, this board’s been getting a bit testy, and I’m not quite sure I’ve ever seen a circle jerk referenced on a baseball blog. Somehow I just don’t see the connection.

    Go Braves? Yes. Go Braves.

  63. If Jeffy returns to pre-2008 crappiness do they offer him an extension? Does he hold out for even more?

  64. After reading the majority of this thread (my sanity couldn’t handle the rest), I am now convinced I would really like to meet Gadfly. Just to see where he lives, who he hangs out with, and other things that might help me figure out where he’s coming from. However, I’m willing to accept humorous explanations of my curiosities.

  65. I’m a crappy baseball player too. Why don’t I get as much attention as Jeff Francoeur? I play the outfield, I’m right-handed, I have a good arm, and I can’t hit a curve ball. I have so much in common with this guy, and yet everyone talks about him and NO ONE talks about ole Rob Copenhaver. What the crap, people?

  66. GA is no good…and his career production is not great.

    Geez, what is next? Smoltz doesn’t deserve to be in the hall and Chipper is a mediocre 3B?

    Folks, I’m no Frank Wren apologist (because he certainly sucks)…but this GA deal ain’t that bad at all.

  67. Gadfly needs to write a book about his musings. If he’ll shape like a pillow and use a soft cover, it could also double as a cure for insomnia.

    I would think runs batted in with base hits would be one good category to measure offensive worth.

  68. Did anybody happen to remember that the first game of spring training is today? And that we’re on ESPN tomorrow? Kinda took me by surprise…. First box score of the new year… exciting.

  69. Bwarrend, that’s a great one. I think we should call them “windicators,” because you can’t win without hits and runs batted in.

    An even better stat would be plate appearances plus home runs. I call it “usefulness quotient.” Thus, Jeff Francoeur had a usefulness quotient of 664 in 2008, while Ken Griffey’s was just 593, Garret Anderson’s was 608, and Alex Rodriguez’s was 629. See how overrated he is?

  70. Gees, I’m gone for most of the evening and you guys can only manage 20 comments!?!

    @78: My opinion isn’t based solely on his rookie season, but on the 549 ML games he has played thus far, with extra weight given to the 200-300 that I’ve been able to watch.

    Further, I am open to changing my mind, in fact I have changed it. I don’t see things in black and white like many around here seem to, so it might not seem like it, but I found the RBI/MOB exercise I ran through earlier to be very enlightening. It put Jeff’s RBI numbers into a clearer perspective for me. I never thought or said Jeff was a great player, only that he’s a great athlete who has the potential to be a great player if he can overcome a few obstacles on the way. Recall my proposed lineup from yesterday where I, tentatively, had him batting 7th against RHP and 8th against LHP. The only opinion I’ve expressed here about Francoeur is that he doesn’t suck, and we shouldn’t give up on him yet… not a really bold opinion, and a pretty easily defensible one. Now, if you’re expecting me to change my opinion and agree that he does suck you’re fighting an uphill battle. Even metrics like OPS+ support me on this one (92 for his career is much closer to average than poor territory, and that includes the piss poor numbers he put up last year.) Now if you can provide me with some metric I haven’t considered, or if he puts up another season like last year I’ll gladly reassess, but until then he’s earned the benefit of the doubt from me (and apparently the main players in the Braves organization agree on this one as well.)

    You are certainly free to not converse with me if you so choose. I won’t lose any sleep over it, but I do apologize if I have irritated you in any way, it surely was not my intent. Lastly, I do have a blog of my own, but I try to avoid baseball discussions, because one of my co-bloggers is a Yankees fan, and that just gets ugly, quick… and then he brings up ’96 and ’99, and all I have to fall back on is 1957.

    @85: I said about 5-10 minutes per post, and unless I missed something this is my 12th of the day, so that totals between 1-2 hours. The other comments on here don’t usually take all that long to read, but I won’t argue with 2 hours for today… which is well above the usual. Of course it wasn’t 2 hours straight, but two hours in between meetings, e-mails, lunch, reading and writing other things etc. etc. Not exactly the same sort of time in which I can fit in the next installment of Democracy in America.

    As for picking fights, I hope you’ve done your homework here, but I seriously doubt you have. The most recent discussion, of which you caught the tail-end, began when I was conversing with a few people over the topic of the previous post, and made the mistake of quoting non-SABR-sanctioned statistics (actually to be accurate they were at one time SABR-sanctioned, and actually first expressed by Bill James himself, but they have since been ignored in favor of better predictive, though less tangible, metrics.) One commenter then briefly, and with no argumentative or statistical support, dismissed these statistics off-hand as “never significant.” I responded in a variety of different ways to defend the use of these statistics, even going as far as to run a series of calculations in order to put the statistics into clearer context. How this is summed up as “picking fights” is beyond my understanding of that phrase. Just FYI, I did manage to fit in a little De Tocqueville tonight, sandwiched between a basketball game and tonight’s speeches (I didn’t waste my entire evening.)

    @98: Clutch is a pretty nebulous term. If you are trying to initiate a reasoned debate, it generally makes sense to at least provide a definition, or better yet your resolved position. But I worry that I am taking your comment too seriously.

    Sadly, tomorrow’s schedule likely won’t allow me 2 hours to regale you with new productivity formulas and inspire fantasy baseball team names. I’m just hoping I find some way to track the kickoff of Grapefruit League season! GO BRAVES!!!

  71. JC,

    I have a question regarding your study, if you don’t mind. I didn’t check to see if I could download the full version through my university access, because I doubt I’d understand much of the statistics involved. However, based on your summary a possible criticism occurs to me.

    You describe the idea of protection as a “continuous concept,” where “degree of ability affects the amount of the spillover.” I’m not sure if this is plausible in the real world. If the reasoning behind the protection effect is that a pitcher adjusts his strategy (or intensity) based upon the player on deck, then a pitcher would have to have a mental ranking of all players for the effect to be continuous and scale as you say. Isn’t it more likely that any hypothetical effect would only apply to players that are either really good or really bad, in the pitcher’s mind? Like I said, I don’t know if you considered this in your data or not, so forgive me if you’ve addressed this in your paper, but isn’t it possible that an effect would be present for those hitting in front of something like the top 5% of hitters, but rather than being continuous, would see a steep drop for everyone else?

  72. Grst,

    The way the model is estimated, it ought to capture differences at the extremes. We toyed around with many different model specifications and samples at the time, and we reported the ones we thought were the best. There are an infinite number of reasons why the estimates might be biased, but let me say that we tortured the data in every which way, and it never revealed evidence for protection. :-) Thanks for the question.

  73. I’m so surprised the visitors to a PA blog voted the Phils infield the best… it’s SHOCKING! (the analysis wasn’t bad, but the voting was just silly).

  74. just a question about th RP stat. easy guys, i’m not trying to start trouble……..since i was a kid back in the dark ages when the only stats i could get were the long lists in the sunday paper, i’ve been doing that little formula in my head. i know, anything that simple HAS to be worthless but why is it that the elite hitters always have the highest number?………..if you look over the last ten years or so, you’ll find that the guys that have a total of 200 or more in a season have names like A-Rod,Griffey, Bonds, Sosa, Ramirez and Pujols and damn few others. no Brave has done it since Murphy.********ooops, JD Drew did it in ’04

  75. Stats trivia question (the answer to which I do not know):

    Back in the 80s, Sporting News (I think) came up with a stat that proved Eric Davis was the best player in baseball at the time.

    Anybody remember what that stat was?

  76. I know we withdrew our offer to Ohman, but I still hope that, since the market is so depressed and he’d be reasonably priced, we’re still open to him. OR are we so tight on roster spots that we can’t afford to sign anybody else lest we lose somebody valuable?

  77. First day of baseball!

    WS Champs this year. I’ve got a good feeling. We’re due.

    Side note: I hate the WBC. Every player that goes makes me worried that they will suck/get hurt/turn into Dontrelle Willis.

    This is just my idea, but if they really wanted the international competition, they should cancel the all-star game on Olympic years and make the break during the Olympics. You’ll probably have to extend the season a few days in each direction, but IMO, that makes a lot more sense than making up a tournament before the season starts and subjecting the players to the aforementioned risks.

  78. Hankonly, I’m guessing that’d be Power/speed number.

    Barry, good hitters are often placed in the middle of the lineup, so they often have a chance to drive in a lot of runs and score a lot of runs. RS and RBI are more a symptom of their being good than a measure of how good they are. Plenty of good hitters don’t drive in a lot of runs — the prototypical leadoff hitter, say.

    Guys who have extraordinarily high “Runs Produced” numbers over the course of their career will probably be good hitters, in much the same way that pitchers who have won 300 games have tended to be pretty good. But guys who don’t have extraordinarily high “Runs Produced” numbers might either be excellent hitters with awful teammates, or less than excellent hitters. It doesn’t tell you anything about the hitter himself.

  79. From the B-Pro chat with Joe Sheehan:

    Q): Do you think Smoltz is right that Braves management is too cheap? It seems to me that they’ve mostly made good decisions on sending folks like Lopez, Drew and Sheffield on their way. (Maybe not signing Glavine was a mistake, but not a stupid one.)

    Joe Sheehan: It’s hard to think of an organization that had done less to add to a championship-caliber core over a period of years than the Braves did. They did more than usual this winter, out of necessity, but I can see where Smoltz has a point. They’re not run like baseball team any longer, but like a division of a company that has to post profits each quarter. You simply can’t run a baseball team that way.

  80. Grst and JC (102, 104),
    Would a very generous tier system for the player on deck work? One tier of the elite, one tier of the terrible, and everyone else in the middle? That way we could hold onto our myth of the “most feared” hitters. heh heh. But the most dominant pitchers shouldn’t fear any hitters if they’re confident they can get a guy out. Anyway… I trust JC’s analysis.

  81. #94

    Smitty, I’ll join that league if you need another guy. I’d like to join a league where I’m not the commish for once. Haha.

    #110

    Joel, Yes they broadcast a bunch of them.

  82. Not sure how creeped out I am by the picture… but the page brought up an interesting question by linking to http://tinyurl.com/an5wpt

    The question being… is apparently washed up Dontrelle likely to have a comparatively better season than apparently washed up Andruw.

  83. well let me take that back about espn360.com -it said on my home computer it had the game, but here at work it’s not showing- who knows

  84. @107 hankonly, I believe that stat would be “OPS plus Outfield Assists while high ” or the Crackfactor stat. He lead the league in that category in 6 of 9 seasons in the 80s. Darryl Strawberry led the other 3. Doc Gooden lead in a pitching verison of the stat, called “blow-velocity’ for the ability to maintain a high Strike to Ball ratio while high.

    Gadfly wrote EXTENSIVELY about it in his book, “Prehensile Isometric Geometrics and other Clavinistic Stats.”

  85. well then that blows, because at home i could get the game if i was on verizon (i’m on time warner) and now it wont work here at work. stupid computers and there tracking and numbers.

  86. Frenchy’s first at bat:

    Runners 1st and 2nd with 2 outs and….

    rolled over an outside pitch and grounded out.

  87. francoeur o for 1 on the year. he just left 2 men on base. nothing changes. 1 bat is a sample-size. it’s a sample of what is in stake for the rest of the flippin’ year.

  88. Schafer misplayed a ball in right that led to the Tigers’ second run. I hate that not because I care about ST games, but because anything that makes Schafer look bad makes Francoeur look good in comparison.

  89. CNNSI RUMORS:

    The Rangers have plenty of offense, so they will be just fine if Andruw Jones struggles this spring and doesn’t make the opening day roster. His teammates, though, seem to have little doubt that the $500,000 gamble the Rangers took on Jones will pay handsomely. Not only could he provide another powerful bat from the right side, but he’s a defensive wizard. Left fielder David Murphy says: “He makes everything look so easy out in the outfield. When you put a guy with his talent and what he has done with a guy like [hitting coach] Rudy Jaramillo, I don’t see how he’s not going to be with us at some point this year.” — Dallas Morning News

  90. From ESPN.com:

    “This is the last piece to our club,” manager Bobby Cox said. “We have a lot of talented young outfielders, but most of them could use another year in the minors. When I see Garret up close he reminds me a lot of George Brett.”

    George Brett!!?? So Jeff Franceour must be Al Kaline. OMG, Bobby has Alzheimer’s.

  91. The idea of Jeffy as a “designated hitter” has me reeling. Has there been anyone less qualified, for any team, who has actually filled that position in a regular season game?

    I’m sure (actually not so sure) that there has been, but I don’t know AL play all that well.

  92. Fun Braves Prop:

    John Walsh at The Hardball Times has an article today about incorporating a valuation of hitting into double plays (http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/beyond-ops-filling-in-the-gaps/). He winds up with a list of 12 players who, over the last three years, would have their overall valuation fluxuate by half a game or more, based on their avoidance of hitting into double plays. The results favor a blend of speed guys, and guys who avoid hitting into double plays by doing things like walking, striking out, getting hit by the pitch, hitting line drives and flyballs instead of grounders. Three of the 12 players valuations are positive, and #2 on the list is Kelly Johnson. Walsh comes away with the result that in 2008 KJ was worth 5.3 runs (nearly two wins) more than his perceived value, by avoiding double plays.

    Sadly, Yunel gave them back (worth 5.5 runs worse than perceived). Hopefully Yunel will reverse that this year.

  93. Blind Hog, you’re not encouraging me here… I was in the “if we’re not going to make another move we should get Andruw on the cheap” camp… and I’m not sure Garrett Anderson was enough of a move to count as a real move.

  94. I know it’s not the regular season, but didn’t Pendleton DH for us in the 1996 WS? Just checked the stats: 222/300/333. He actually got two hits!

  95. I just bit the bullet and bought the MLB tv package… I’m confused, does this mean I can listen to games as well? I can’t seem to listen to this game, but I was under the impression that I would be able to.

  96. It’s also because Freeman’s production came out of relative nowhere, whereas Heyward’s superb stats match all the glowing scouting reports that have been written about him since he was in high school. It’s actually mostly because of this, I think.

  97. @138 –

    Good for Andruw. Too bad the Braves didn’t need a right handed power bat in the outfield this year.

  98. Stu – One of the reasons I wasn’t crazy about trading Tyler Flowers is that the Braves’ future bats are very left-handed.

  99. @106: Careful barry, you’re playing with fire. I could’ve sworn Chipper did, but on second look he only got into the 190s a whole bunch of times. Probably never had the footspeed to score enough. (Drew only got to 180, btw, and Sheffield had 219 in ’03.) As you said, if it is all you’ve got it is an interesting indicator (especially when it reaches obscene numbers in the 200s, or 301 like Lou Gehrig in 1931!) If you’ve got other stats it is still worth a look, especially if you have enough extra knowledge to put it into a relevant context (i.e. if you know the lineup involved, environments, etc.)

    @111: I like your comment: “RS and RBI are more a symptom of their being good than a measure of how good they are.” That’s pretty much what I’ve been saying. RP, RBI, and R, aren’t really predictive measures. You can’t expect them to repeat, though the other metrics I looked at should replicate more readily, but you can judge the successfulness of a season, or a career by them (though not relative successfulness, or unsuccessfulness.)

    It is also certainly possible to be an excellent hitter and not put up high RP, given other data I certainly wouldn’t knock anyone for low figures (though excellent hitters will almost always have at least a high RBI, or R total.)

    It is, however, REALLY hard to be an average hitter and put up extraordinary RP numbers (breaking it down by Gm, AB, Out, or MOB makes it even tougher.) That being said, Jeff’s 170 is far from extraordinarily high, though it was 2nd on the team (to Chipper’s 181 in 28 fewer games, with Teixeira on pace for 231 if he had kept that production up for us in a full season.)

    @the game: Damn, I wish they would’ve saved Marek for tomorrow, I’m interested to see him throw, but at least he put up a good inning. Glad to see some speed on the basepaths too… can’t wait to see it live tomorrow!

  100. I don’t know what the deal with this radio feed is, it’s killing me. I select the game, select the station, the player opens up and says “connecting to media” and then it connects and says “ready” I hit the play button and it starts the “connecting to media” again…I need tech support…

  101. I don’t think one spring training at bat is too small a sample size. After all, he could have struck out, grounded out, popped out, flied out, or fouled out and he didn’t do any of those things. That’s about a 1/6 chance of getting a hit versus getting out one of those ways and he rolled a 1. You can’t roll a 1 on a 6 sided die without some serious talent.

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